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    Posted 14 October 2002

    RURAL WOMEN REPRESENT one quarter of the world population and have made a tremendous difference in the field of agriculture. A one-day conference at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, tomorrow will celebrate those achievements as part of World Rural Women's Day.

    'Women of Vision - a step in the right direction' will highlight the innovative attitude of rural women and share best practice ideas for promoting the economic viability of farming, sustaining a healthy, safe and abundant food supply in a thriving countryside and maintaining viable rural communities.

    The Women of Vision conference has been organised and supported by the LEAF, Linking Environment And Farming, group, the WFU, the WI, NatWest and Sainsbury's. Organisers hope the event will bring together farmers, managers, academic and policy makers to share and exchange ideas for women throughout the food and farming industries.

    The day will comprise a mix of presentations and workshops, with plenty of audience interaction, led by women who have a practical, first-hand knowledge of the topics being discussed.

    These speakers include Baroness Byford, shadow minister (Lords) for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on making your views heard by those in power, and Margaret Clarke, Director of the Countryside Agency, who will focus on rural communities' needs and aspirations and the problems of delivering change.

    A range of further speakers from organisations such as LEAF, the WFU, SUSTAIN, the NFWI, Harper Adams University College, the Arthur Rank Centre and the Addington Fund will round out the day's presentations and lead panel discussions, workshops and feedback sessions.

    'Women of Vision - a step in the right direction' will take place at Harper Adams' campus, near Newport, in Shropshire, between 10am and 4.45pm on Tuesday, October 15, 2002.


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